The Not So Pure Facts About Our Water.

The topic of water quality is sufficiently involved to merit its own website, but we will try to do it justice in this article. To cover the subject more comprehensively and continuously, we have created a weblog specially devoted to environmental issues that affect our wellness. We will include topics related to water and air quality and other sources of toxins that negatively affect welfare. Please be sure to visit there frequently for updated information on these topics.

Wellness-conscious people understand the vital role of proper hydration in our health. But with so much focus on the importance of drinking plenty of water, we sometimes overlook what might otherwise be an obvious question. Is the source of our water helping or hurting us? In most cases, the water you drink is relatively safe for human consumption but only sometimes optimal. What we mean by that is that tap water, bottled water, and some filtered water sources often contain unhealthy chemicals that get into the water system intentionally and accidentally. These chemicals often include additives like chlorine1, lead, and even fluoride, intended to disinfect the water and/or provide additional health benefits. The problem is that more recent research is beginning to demonstrate a substantial link between these substances and some severe diseases and ailments like cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer's Disease.

Health-minded people are always looking to reduce the opportunities for chemicals to be introduced into their bodies because, in addition to creating a breeding ground for sickness, foreign substances simply build more work for our bodies to remove through natural cleansing. It stands to reason that the more chemicals you can avoid, the less your body has to work to remove them.


Water quality varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so the only way to determine what is in your water is to obtain a copy of the water quality report from your local water authority. The Environmental Protection Agency also has a website that provides an excellent head start on where to get the information you need to determine what is in your water. I have always been concerned about relying entirely on the government to tell the whole story. Still, because having your water tested privately can cost hundreds of dollars, some of us just don't make the extra effort. However, the good news is that for what it would cost you just to test your water, you can invest in a water filtration system that will eliminate the vast majority of toxins that could be in your water. More on that later.

Our drinking water contains a combination of contaminants both intentionally and unintentionally introduced. Virtually all jurisdictions in the United States use a combination of mechanical filtration and chemical disinfection techniques to sanitize our drinking water. That usually includes treatment of the water with Chlorine and possibly Iodine. In some cases, fluoride is added to water as a public service to fight tooth decay.

Even after treatment, the water you drink may travel through hundreds of miles of pipes before reaching you. When it does, it picks up chemicals like copper, tar, asphalt iron, zinc, coal, polyethylene, concrete, polyvinyl chloride, vinyl, asbestos, and lead before ending up in your drinking glass.


Those of us who have been led to believe that bottled water is safer or better than tap water will be sorely disappointed to find out that much of the water you find on grocery store shelves isn't better than the tap water you get at home. Indeed, not only is it not safer, but it may actually be less healthy because if it has been filtered to remove Chlorine and other contaminants, it's now sitting on a grocery store shelf, soaking up chemicals from the plastic container it's in. Without the chlorine content, bacteria can also begin to grow in it. Bottled water is expensive and unpredictable when it comes to quality because of the unusual way it is regulated. Believe it or not, if the water is bottled
and distributed in your state without crossing state lines, there are no federal regulations that require any assurance of quality, and local regulations, if they exist, tend to be much more lenient on this issue.


There are some ways you can get safe water. One is to buy bottled water certified by NSF International, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to public health and consumer safety. NSF maintains a list of companies that produce bottled water that meets safety standards developed by NSF, and these standards almost always exceed what is required by state and federal government. Bottled water from a certified source can cost about $1.00 per gallon or more, so this may not be the most effective avenue for you.

Another alternative is a home water filtration system. Many such devices, ranging from whole-house filtration systems to handheld filtration systems, contain a filtering device in a water pitcher. The quality and effectiveness of these systems vary by type and manufacturer, and the most expensive operations are not always the most effective. Quality home water filtration systems can range from just over $100.00 for an excellent countertop system to over $5,000.00 for a whole-house water filtration system. Still, the average cost for a quality water filtration system, countertop, or under-sink system is less than $500.00. The average price for replacement filters is typically less than $100.00 a year after the first use.

Because of the importance of this topic, we have decided to conduct a review of several quality systems and to report back to you on them. We will also interview the manufacturers of these systems on "Fitness Radio" so you can access more detailed information about these systems. Finally, regularly covering drinking water-related news will be posted in the Toxin Free Blog at your convenience.

NOTE: Citation to articles from a particular website does not imply endorsement of featured products unless expressly indicated.

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